Thursday, 8 November 2018

No Adam Price bounce for Plaid just yet.

Professor Roger Awan-Scully's the  latest Welsh Political Barometer once again shows that Wales seems to be moving in the direction of its neighbour and a two party system.
The  new poll puts support for the main parties as follows (with changes on the last Barometer poll, in July, in brackets): 
Westminster Voting Intention

Labour: 42% (-2)
Conservatives: 33% (+2)
Plaid Cymru: 10% (-3)
Liberal Democrats: 7% (+2)
UKIP: 4% (+1)
Others: 3% (no change)

Labour: 26 seats
Conservatives: 10 seats
Plaid Cymru: 3 seats
Liberal Democrats: 1 seat

Professor Awan-Scully writes,
It is obvious that our new poll shows only small changes in party support from that in early July: indeed, all the changes seen since July are within the normal polling ‘margin of error’, and so may represent little more than random fluctuations.Yet this relative lack of change is actually a major story. In Wales, as across the UK, there has been remarkable stability in party support levels since last year’s general election. That election had seen the very opposite of stability – instead, witnessing some of the biggest changes during the formal campaign period that have ever been seen in a major election across any established democracy. But since then, hardly anything has changed. Across Britain, and in Wales, Labour support has gently edged downwards a few points, but otherwise we see almost no movement. All the turmoil in UK politics is having little impact on levels of party support. Nonetheless, while the changes shown here are small, Plaid Cymru will surely be disappointed that the installation of their new leader has not generated any momentum for them at all.
Please look at his analysis in full here. 
It would be foolish to argue on such a small change in voting intentions for Plaid to argue that Adam Price's leadership has had a negative effect , but there certainly no signs of a bounce.

National Assembly Constituency Voting Intention

Labour: 38% (no change)
Conservatives: 28% (no change)
Plaid Cymru: 19% (-2)
Liberal Democrats: 6% (no change)
UKIP: 6% (+2)
Others: 3% (no change)

National Assembly Regional Voting Intention 
Labour: 37% (no change)
Conservatives: 26% (+1)
Plaid Cymru: 18% (-4)
Liberal Democrats: 6% (+1)
UKIP: 5% (no change)
Others: 9% (+2)

 Professor Awan-Scully number crunching suggests thatt these figures, in turn, generate the following overall result for the National Assembly:

Labour 29 seats (25 constituency, 4 regional)
Conservative 18 seats (8 constituency, 10 regional)
Plaid Cymru 11 seats (6 constituency, 5 regional)
UKIP 1 seat (1 regional)
Liberal Democrats 1 seat (1 constituency

He concludes 
"Such a result would clearly leave as still very much the dominant party in the National Assembly. But it would also be by far the best ever outcome for the Welsh Conservatives, putting them in a clear second place.
Overall, the new Welsh Political Barometer poll is in line with recent Britain-wide polling, shows broad stability in support levels for the main parties. Labour has continued to lose a little ground since its high point after the Corbyn surge in last year’s general election. But in Wales Labour remain well ahead. The UK government’s Brexit travails have not yet had any notable negative impact on support for the Conservatives. Perhaps the party with most reason to be disappointed in the results of our new poll is Plaid Cymru. The significant publicity attracted by their new leader, Adam Price, has yet to yield any electoral benefits for them. To the contrary, this poll reinforces the huge scale of the political task facing Plaid’s would-be First Minister".

As I said it may be to early to see any Adam Price influence on the Plaid vote and certainly he and the Party  are not helped by a lack of Welsh media and a daily emphasis on English politics  in areas that are devolved  so we still se a large percentage of Welsh voters believing that the NHS and Education for example  are still run for Westminster.

I doubt that even the redoubtable  Professor Awan-Scully would try and see a loss of Plaid votes to the actual change in leadership . So it may be just speculation in my part that some of the minorities (or what her detractors called niche causes) that Leanne Wood gave support to may have moved elsewhere.

But it is clear that Plaid in the next three years have a mountain climb  despite both major  UK Unionists parties completely making a mess of Brexit.

It is too early to say and Brexit is clearly having a major effect on the voting intentions of people in Wales and the prospect of this changing anytime soon looks remote.


  1. Glyn, It is not to early to say about the impact of the change in Plaid Cymru's Leader. Adam Price is not going to improve on Leanne Wood's electoral impact and it looks like he has not even had a honeymoon boost in ratings as the new leader with his predecessor having a bigger public profile than him.

  2. While it's very disappointing to see plaid's support dipping its obviously way too early to judge Adam's leadership on these polling figures. That said i dread to think what kind of online abuse leanne would have faced from some of her detractors in the welsh national movement if these polling figures had been recorded on her watch.

    I do wonder tho whether stories in the welsh media linking plaid to deals with the tories may have done plaid some residual damage with sections of the welsh electorate they need to do well with ie working class left leaning voters if plaid are to ever become the biggest party in wales

    To be fair Adam ruled any deals with the tories out during the leadership election and he must continue to do so if plaid's fortunes are to pick up.